The Capitulation Bill: "Obviously it's a good move"

The crazy thing about the fight is that Democratic insiders are convinced that capitulation is the right strategy.  They actually believe that this will put pressure on the Republicans in the fall, and that standing up to Bush is a bad idea.  For instance, there's this.

Democrats said this week they would have jeopardized their fall bargaining position if they had insisted on keeping withdrawal timelines in the current supplemental spending bill (HR 2206). Persisting now would likely have resulted in another veto and would have handed Republicans talking points for the Memorial Day recess about which party supports the troops in the field.

Democrats were particularly worried about the prospect of Bush declaring at wreath-laying ceremonies that "Democrats have stopped resources for the troops," said Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala.

"The problem is that we have to provide money for the troops, and if we don't, the Democrats will be blamed," added Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., a war opponent. "Bush has the bully pulpit, so he will define who is responsible."

"Obviously it's a good move," said Democratic pollster Fred Yang. "It gives President Bush and Republicans one less thing to shoot at" during the upcoming recess week.

Bush has the bully pulpit.  Obviously it's a good move.

These are the attitudes of Democratic members and pollsters.  There's no evidence that Bush moves numbers anymore.  In fact, when he talks he becomes less popular.  He has no credibility, which means that his access to the bully pulpit is severely diminished.  Yet Democrats are afraid of him.  More than that, Democratic members think that by capitulating to him that Republicans will stop saying that Democrats won't fund the troops.  It's crazy.  It's like they didn't notice the 2002 election where they were like 'we can take Iraq off the table'.

And while the news media is abuzz with talk of Democratic capitulation, I'm watching Louise Slaughter on C-Span idiotically saying that this is not a concession to Bush, and that Congress is fighting to end the war.  And she really believes it.  She really thinks that Democrats are fighting Bush with this bill.  It's amazing.  It's like la-la land.

Yang's comments are particularly silly, though I guess I shouldn't be surprised since he accepted Third Way's fraudulent study as 'useful' when it was actually statistical malpractice.  There's actually a secret problem in Democratic politics where a lot of our pollsters actually don't know how to do professional polling. But we'll leave that aside.

The key take-away here is that the Democratic Party is degraded and disorganized, and it shows.  It's not just that the party is bought off, though some members are.  It's that even the ones who want to do the right thing are constantly being told by people like Yang that capitulating to the President is obviously the right move, and that their concession is not actually a concession.

Update [2007-5-24 11:10:12 by Matt Stoller]:: Dodd and Edwards get it.

Tags: Fred Yang, George W. Bush, Iraq (all tags)

Comments

102 Comments

Their frame, their calendar

They bought the September bait.  The Republicans framed it and the Democrats bought into the frame ...

... again.  

Suckers.  

Come September, Bush will hit the snooze bar again with another "plan" and this will drag into the next administration.  At that point, the Republicans will be able to blame everything that goes wrong in Iraq on a new Democratic administration.  

The parasites win again.
.

by Grand Moff Texan 2007-05-24 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Their frame, their calendar

Someone once called these folks likely patsies.

by philgoblue 2007-05-24 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Their frame, their calendar

What's incredible is that this post appears next to a Breaking Blue item showing the Bush's poll numbers are an all time low.

It's like a battered wife still fearing her husband after he dies.

by david mizner 2007-05-24 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Their frame, their calendar

"a new Democratic administration"

With stunts like this (funding bill) who says that we're a shoo in 2008?

We know that our candidates are actually Presidential material and that the Republican candidates are, criminy, just plain awful.

But current head-to-head polls show only narrow possible wins and the media, well the media just isn't going to sit still and tolerate the election of a Democrat.  That's obvious from the current coverage.  When the conventions are over and the race begins expect the Democratic nominee to be Gored, Swiftboated and Whitewatered with the press gleefully playing along. This funding bill disaster will make much of that type of "coverage" credible to far too many voters.

Don't be surprised if some opportunistic schmuck like Nader or Bloomberg starts a 3rd party, fueled in large measure by this funding bill.

2008 ain't automatic.

by cal1942 2007-05-24 10:37AM | 0 recs
Troops

Can someone please explain to me why anyone thinks that de-funding the war would hurt the troops?  I just don't understand where the connection comes in!

by Illustrious 2007-05-24 07:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Troops

They envision Bush forcing the troops to stay in Iraq when they run out of bullets or food.

...and honestly, I can see Bush ordering them to stay there with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

by MNPundit 2007-05-24 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Troops

I just don't see how the blame for that goes to congress--

they passed a bill funding the troops
they passed a bill funding the troops
they passed a bill funding the troops

Why can't Pelosi and Reid and everyone else just stand on a mountaintop and scream this every time bush vetoes their bill with a timetable?

by Valatan 2007-05-24 09:09AM | 0 recs
They Have Been...

...but the press prefers the GOP POV.  (See http://www.mediamatters.org, especially their "If It's Sunday, It's STILL Conservative" report.)

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 12:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Troops

You equate it rather easily.

"If Bush would just cave in the troops would get money!"

OR

"If Democrats would just cave in the troops would get money!"

Now of course it's more complicated than that, but to avoid that very simple equation it's going to take a lot of work. And it's work that hasn't been done yet.

by MNPundit 2007-05-24 12:59PM | 0 recs
Re: The Capitulation Bill

There's no evidence that Bush moves numbers anymore.  In fact, when he talks he becomes less popular.  He has no credibility, which means that his access to the bully pulpit is severely diminished.

Enough said Matt.  Perfect.  Wussies surrender even before the fight because they fear the fight (and this guy we were up against talks a lot of trash at the press conference and weigh-in, but has a glass jaw dammit).

by philgoblue 2007-05-24 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: The Capitulation Bill

Remember when we stood united and dug in our heels and prevented Social Security privatization?

by philgoblue 2007-05-24 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: The Capitulation Bill

Hell .. Bush vetoed a bill that supplied the troops their money .... I swear ... the people on Capitol Hill must be some of the dumbest MF'ers alive .. and who gives a damn about what Fred Yang says .. it's obvious he's a crappy pollster .. because he hasn't been looking at The Commander Guy's approval ratings ... earth to Fred .. they are swirling down the toilet

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-05-24 09:00AM | 0 recs
Dragging the whole thing out

There are retired Generals out that have been 'openly' opposing this war from at least 2004 when they backed Kerry.  Why hasn't the Democratic Party leadership used them to help with their position?

Is it because the Democratic Party doesn't want to pull them in, or is it because the Generals have not been asked?

Feingold must have got his plan from somewhere?

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2007-05-24 07:18AM | 0 recs
maybe the Dems don't want us out of Iraq?

Have you considered this possibility?

by Carl Nyberg 2007-05-24 08:03AM | 0 recs
Maybe Dems suspicious of the military?

...I mean as an institution.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archive s/individual/2007_05/011369.php

by MNPundit 2007-05-24 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: maybe the Dems don't want us out of Iraq?

well we know some Dems don't .. the DLC ones for sure ... the Landrieu's ... the Pryor's ... and of course HoJo

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-05-24 09:01AM | 0 recs
Revision

revision. or the Generals have refused to be associated with the Dem party?

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2007-05-24 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: The Capitulation Bill:

"More than that, Democratic members think that by capitulating to him that Republicans will stop saying that Democrats won't fund the troops."

Dead on. Democrats gain nothing by bargaining with this president. One only has to look back to 2002. Dems stood with the President, yet he impugned their patriotism anyway. He has never wanted to work with the Democrats, in fact, he has always looked for ways to make the Democrats look bad.

by Benstrader 2007-05-24 07:22AM | 0 recs
To Those Who Say She Can't Win

I support someone else, but I would adminish everyone to NEVER underestimate her or her campaign operatives. As a matter of fact, her operation may be better than her husband's 1992 machine.

by RandyMI 2007-05-24 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: To Those Who Say She Can't Win

Off topic, buddy

by Matt Stoller 2007-05-24 07:31AM | 0 recs
WHAT THE HELL...

I just got this news alert from SIROTA...  What the Hell???

Has anyone else been able to verify that this happening:

VOTE ALERT: Dick Cheney Dems Plan to Hide Votes On Iraq TODAY

Today is the day House Democrats are expected to vote on Iraq - except, news out of Washington this morning says the leadership has come up with a nifty little trick to try to prevent the public from seeing who voted for giving Bush a blank check, and who voted against it. If you thought Democrats were behaving like cowards by caving into a President at a three-decade low in presidential polling and giving him the very blank check they explicitly promised not to give him during the 2006 election, you ain't seen nothing yet. We are watching the rise of the Dick Cheney Democrats - that is, the rise of Democrats who endorse governing in secret and hiding the public's business from the public itself.

Is this true --- anyone?

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2007-05-24 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: WHAT THE HELL...

that is just the point ... The Republiscum will demonize the Dems anyway ... so they should just do what is right  .. I am sorry ... but Reid must have been one crappy boxer in his youth ... not only that ..  but I want to play poker against him ... he's such an easy mark it seems

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-05-24 09:03AM | 0 recs
You'd think...

You'd think that being from Nevada, home of the notorious Las Vegas, that Reid might have picked up a trick or two.

by AmericanJedi 2007-05-24 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: You'd think...

Sadly .. it doesn't appear so ... does it?

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-05-24 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: The Capitulation Bill: Another Sell-Out

A majority of the American people want the U.S. to end its occupation of Iraq.

But Congress continues to fund the occupation because it is a runaway engine that has sidetracked the American people.

This is because the majority of its elected representatives are more interested in getting re-elected than in serving their constituents.

To get re-elected, they must continue selling their votes to their corporate campaign contributors who are in bed with the military-industrial that is running the country.

The time has come to dismantle this government.

by Nancy Bordier 2007-05-24 07:44AM | 0 recs
Correction

A majority of the American people want the U.S. to end its occupation of Iraq.

But Congress continues to fund the occupation because it is a runaway engine that has sidetracked the American people.

This is because the majority of its elected representatives are more interested in getting re-elected than in serving their constituents.

To get re-elected, they must continue selling their votes to their corporate campaign contributors who are in bed with the military-industrial complex that is running the country.

The time has come to dismantle this government.

by Nancy Bordier 2007-05-24 07:53AM | 0 recs
don't overlook Israel lobby

I suspect Israel wants the United States to stay in Iraq until some Gulf of Tonkin incident can be used to justify the United States attacking Iran's nuclear program.

by Carl Nyberg 2007-05-24 08:06AM | 0 recs
Re: don't overlook Israel lobby

Yes, the Israel lobby is a major part of the reason that Congress cannot follow the wishes of the American people and end the occupation. And Israel, which does not want to see the U.S. booted out of the Middle East, is a major proponent of the U.S. attack against Iran that appears to be in the making.

AIPAC, the formidable pro-Israel nationwide lobbying organization, has its tentacles on our legislators through its demonstrated ability to defeat candidates for office who voice opposition to U.S. unconditional support for Israel.

Add the influence of AIPAC to the energy interests that are core drivers of the military industrial complex and you have the formula for defeat of the wishes of the American people to end the occupation.

Congressional representatives are not going to vote against the energy interests that are getting a stranglehold around Iraqi oil resources through the oil agreement the Bush administration is trying to force its Iraqi puppet government to sign before it collapses altogether.

The American people, on the whole, understand these dynamics. They just can't do anything to stop the bloodletting at the moment.

What we need are real leaders and not sycophants, real leaders who tell the truth and stand behind it.

Why can't any of the representatives stand up and tell the American people that this is all about oil and the defense of Israel, that the U.S. is broke and borrowing money from its adversaries, and that staying in Iraq is making the U.S. more vulnerable rather than less at the cost of more American and Iraqi lives?

What the Republican Party and its elected representatives in Congress, together with wimped-out Democrats, are doing by refusing to exit Iraq is signing their own death warrants.

The American people are watching this debacle and, I believe, coming to the conclusion that the political party system and the government, which the military industrial complex has deformed by financially corrupting the electoral process, must be dismantled. It may take years and even decades to do it, but it is clear that incremental reforms and legislative representatives or presidents elected by this deformed system are not going to put American citizens and voters back in charge of their own government.

by Nancy Bordier 2007-05-24 11:08AM | 0 recs
The Capitulation Bill

It's amazing! Not only are these "blue-dog" Dems lacking any integrity, but they also are inept politically. The effort here should be to isolate this faction of Congress and make sure they have challengers who burn them on this vote come primary season. They will be clearly identified as Bush appeasers who signed on to the Republican war.

by cmpnwtr 2007-05-24 07:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Clelanded

Back in 2002, Max Cleland proposed the Department of Homeland Security and then voted against the Bush Bill that proposed a nn-union version of Homeland Security.  Cleland was the victim of an ad that morphed his face into Bin Laden's.  The triple aamputee, Silver Star winner from Nam was demonized in favor of a nonentity named Saxby Chambliss.

This worked about as well as Joe McCarthy's demonization of Millard Tydings in the early 50's only longer and with less reason.  Running away from Bush didn't work in 2004 and it won't work in 2007 or 2008.  Standing up worked against McCarthy and it will work against Bush.

In some ways, this is not a capitulation but a trade.  We get minimum wage, decent care for veterans and some other programs.  Bush gets a few months cover for what he's going to do anyway.

BTW, I suspect that the bit about cutting off the troops stems from real historical moments in sieges that have nothing to do with this:  think Vicksburg, Stalingrad, and even Lee at Petersburg/Richmond. Vicksburg did durrender because of lack of food.  The reason for that was that the quartermaster ignored Pemberton's order to stockpile food months earlier.  Political funding had nothing to do with it, in fact, the need to look gung ho (long siege, hell, we'll whip them Yankees before it comes to that) is a lot closer to Bush than to Feingold.

by David Kowalski 2007-05-24 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Clelanded

What gets me is that old Dems know what the response to this shit is:

The LBJ "Daisy" spot.  

You want to characterize dems as wimpy peaceniks?  We'll characterize republicans as reckless warmongering idiots.

Why does no one get this?

by Valatan 2007-05-24 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Clelanded

Not only a non-union Department of Homeland Security but also a non-civil service DHS. Who knows what sorts of gross patronage hires might be burrowed in there.

by joyful alternative 2007-05-24 09:50AM | 0 recs
headline

Yahoo news: Bush supports $120B Iraq war compromise

"compromise?"

by tparty 2007-05-24 07:59AM | 0 recs
can't blame the media

If Dems are pushing the lie too.

by Carl Nyberg 2007-05-24 08:02AM | 0 recs
indeed

n/t

by tparty 2007-05-24 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: can't blame the media

I'd say there's nothing wrong with blaming the dems AND the media though.

by Silent sound 2007-05-24 10:40AM | 0 recs
Fred Yang & Dem base

After all, dividing the Democratic Party from its base has been so successful in the past.

by Carl Nyberg 2007-05-24 08:01AM | 0 recs
Please clarify to me

Is this capitulation only up to September or it will be one year funding?

by jasmine 2007-05-24 08:04AM | 0 recs
Composition of the vote is important

Wah, wah, wah. This isn't a sprint, it is marathon. I hate living in George Bush's America as much as anyone, but I want to take America back permanently. And you don't get there by feel good measures like Articles of Impeachment that go nowhere or by cutting off money for supplies and gasoline for troops in the field. That is playing into the Republican frame.

Pelosi isn't new. Nor is she simply clay in the hands of the Emmanuel types. The idea that simply cutting funds ends the war is silly, we could start the drawdown tomorrow, which would be my choice, and it will still take billions to extract the troops. Conceivably as much as keeping them there over the short run.

This vote allows an opportunity to put the Republican Party on the spot and put pressure on the appeasers at the same time. Pelosi has already indicated she will vote 'No', if she can keep the anti-war contingent with her and force Bush and Boehner to whip every last Republican in line then we have a clear cut situation where Republicans are on record for war without end and Democrats opposed. At which time you get the focus off funding and onto timelines. The message is relatively simple:

"Of course the troops got their funds, there never was a question of that, the issue is the timeline for ending a war that Republicans insist has no end"

If you want make it clear you consider this vote a test for who gets a primary challenge and who doesn't. And make it equally clear to the shrinking band of Republican moderates that they will pay. But realistically the best possible outcome at this point in time is a bill that rarrowly passes on a near party line vote.

Democrats didn't force Nixon to resign. Republicans did. Their nuts are in a vise and they know it, properly done this bill can be used to tighten down and transfer the rhetoric from "Troops" which is a guaranteed loss to "War" which is a clear win.

Geez, some of you are selling people like Pelosi and Kennedy kind of short, and for that matter the American people. Bush has lost 55 points of approval from his peak, and all along the way we heard this same doom and gloomism. There is a clear distinction between 'cooperation' and 'giving Bush enough rope to hang himself'.

In the Fifties and Sixties the wingnuts chanted "Who lost China" this set up Goldwater and the Roots of the modern Conservative movement. In the Seventies it was "You lost Vietnam" which brought that movement to power in the form of Reagan. And the progressive Left has been playing defense ever since, to the extent that most of our energy is spent against the Centrists within the Democratic Party. I don't want to spend the last decades of my life playing defence on Iraq. This war will not end until or unless the Republican Party irrevocably turn on Bush and I don't see their core as being able to do that. Not yet.

It would be nice to get 160-180 votes against this bill so as to draw some clear lines between the parties, but a straight out defunding of the war was never in the cards. Look I was out and vocal against this war since before it started. And a big part of that was understanding that war is not like a light-switch, you don't get to just turn it off. The inherent advantages will always be heavily weighted toward the President and the Generals because they can always twist the rhetorical field to revolve around "Troops in the Field". You have to work with the dynamic, you can't just roll back that particular tide without getting swamped.

by Bruce Webb 2007-05-24 08:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Composition of the vote is important

"And you don't get there by feel good measures like Articles of Impeachment that go nowhere or by cutting off money for supplies and gasoline for troops in the field. That is playing into the Republican frame."

Sounds like you're the one buying the frame. No one's talking about cutting off money for supplies. DoD has plenty of money for both F07 AND F08; these are supplementals to do MORE warmaking. Refusing those funds leaves no one stranded.

At the stage that supplemental funds are not provided, the onus would be on the President to protect his troops in the field. Any refusal to do so is very clearly on him, not Congress. Being afraid of the truth because the liars will tell another, is unworthy conduct from your Representatives and mine.

by torridjoe 2007-05-24 08:39AM | 0 recs
What the hell are they spending the money on?

It may be that there is not a single dollar in this budget for gasoline or bullets. I find that hard to believe, I find it a stretch that the costs of transporting supplies of all types isn't built in.

What pray tell are the dollars going to?

by Bruce Webb 2007-05-24 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Composition of the vote is important

Thanks for your insightful comment. I'm not sure I agree with everything you say, but it's good food for thought.

by nstrauss 2007-05-24 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Composition of the vote is important

Goldwater lost, and he lost hard.

The dems' coalition broke apart because LBJ believed the "who lost china" crap, decided to engage in Vietnam, and ended up getting attacked from both sides by the proressives and Nixon.

The dems lost america because they started triangulating in the wake of the McGovern loss, and Republicans became the only people talking about what Democratic values are.

by Valatan 2007-05-24 09:17AM | 0 recs
Yeah

The sad thing is that Ho Chi Minh started out admiring the United States: The Vietnamese Declaration of Independence opens with quotes from the US Declaration of Independence.  If we hadn't crapped on him in the name of the corporate colonizers, Vietnam wouldn't have been ripped to shreds for over twenty years, and would probably be the Southeast Asian version of Sweden right now (and one of our better trading partners).  There's even a chance that next-door neighbor Cambodia may have become at least a decent parliamentary monarchy instead of seesawing between the murderous Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge and the incredible corruption of the current régime.

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 12:06PM | 0 recs
Lost. And set the stage

For the modern Conservative Movement. It is not like the people Goldwater inspired stayed out in the wilderness. Reagan was Governor in 1966. Nixon was President in 1968. Nixon overreached buy Nixonism never really went away.

by Bruce Webb 2007-05-24 01:01PM | 0 recs
Primary Challengers

That sounds pretty good, actually.

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Composition of the vote is important

From the AP:

In a highly unusual maneuver, House Democratic leaders crafted a procedure that allowed their rank-and-file to oppose money for the war, then step aside so Republicans could provide the bulk of votes needed to send it to the Senate for final approval.

This would seem to support your explanation of what's going on.

by nstrauss 2007-05-24 02:57PM | 0 recs
Who's Starting the Filibuster?

Dodd? Feingold? Sanders?

by BBCWatcher 2007-05-24 08:08AM | 0 recs
Look at it this way

What a huge victory for Bush! He got the Dems to pass out the cups to his party for the poison kool aid he's making.

Record and Youtube all that Republican gloating on CSPAN. Come October Repubs will be singing a different tune. Come November 2008 they'll wish they never said the things they said today.  

by markg8 2007-05-24 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Look at it this way

BTW Obey announced even he's not voting for the supplemental he negotiated.

by markg8 2007-05-24 08:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Look at it this way

He better vote againast it .. if he has any spin

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-05-24 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Look at it this way

if he REALLY had a spine, he wouldn't have given away the store in negotiations and crafted a bill that he now feels compelled to vote against.

by AmericanJedi 2007-05-24 09:47AM | 0 recs
Yup

The silver lining to all of this is that it shows Americans one big thing:  The more conservative you are, regardless of party, the more you back Bush's war.  If we work now, we can leverage this when the war is even less popular than it is now.

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 12:17PM | 0 recs
Jerry McNerney GETS IT!!!!!!

A lot of people were pretty pissed of when he voted against the McGovern bill, but he'll be voting against the capitulation!

by Bob Brigham 2007-05-24 08:32AM | 0 recs
Please call 911

Because I will soon pass out from slamming my head against the wall. :p

by LnGrrrR 2007-05-24 08:33AM | 0 recs
They're listening to idiots like Mark Shields

See, flaccid "TV liberal" Mark Shields and his fellow Beltway opinion-shapers all say that getting us out of Vietnam hurt the Democrats at the polls, when in fact from 1974 to 1976, the Democrats picked up fifty House seats, three Senate seats and the White House:  http://phoenixwoman.wordpress.com/2007/0 5/23/cause-and-effect-101-with-mark-shie lds/

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: They're listening to idiots like Mark Shields

Insulting Mark Shields isn't going to earn you much credibility.

He wasn't referring to the period of 1974-1976. He was talking long-term, as in 1974-2004. And in that timeframe, one could reasonably argue that the Republicans have benefited more from the end of Vietnam than the Democrats.

by nstrauss 2007-05-24 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: They're listening to idiots like Mark Shields

Why?  Because they've been in the Presidency longer?

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-05-24 09:06AM | 0 recs
Heh!

The crappy economy Carter inherited from Nixon and Ford was probably the biggest factor, though the hostage crisis sure didn't help.  (And, just as Nixon had sent Anna Chan Chennault to Paris in 1968 to make sure the Vietnam peace talks didn't get very far, there's strong evidence that the Republicans in 1980 worked behind the scenes with Iran to keep the hostages jailed to ensure Carter lost.  Robert Parry, the Newsweek reporter who did the heavy lifting in the Iran-Contra scandal, lays out the details here.

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: They're listening to idiots like Mark Shields

In part, yes. But mainly because Republicans at all levels have been able to use the "strong on defense" theme successfully to woo independents for 30 years. Shields has talked about this issue for a long time. I'm not trying to defend him; I'm just clarifying his views.

by nstrauss 2007-05-24 01:25PM | 0 recs
Was he talking 'long term'?

He sure didn't say so.

As for 1980, that can't all (or even mostly) be laid at the feet of ending Vietnam.  There were much, MUCH bigger factors, such as the incredibly bad economy Carter inherited from Nixon and Ford and which he wasn't able to fix.  The press' active dislike of Carter didn't help matters, and neither did that little thing called the October Surprise.

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 09:18AM | 0 recs
GOP will blame Dems for losing Iraq

no matter what the details are.

It's foolish to think spending an extra $100 billion and 600 lives will prevent this.

by Carl Nyberg 2007-05-24 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP will blame Dems for losing Iraq

Of course the GOP blames the Democrats for all of the world's problems. And there's not much anyone can do to stop them.

The question is whether the GOP will be deemed credible by moderates and independents. I think to many in Washington, it really comes down to a matter of long-term party branding.

To others (e.g. most of the people reading MyDD), it comes down to soldiers' lives and other outside-the-beltway considerations.

by nstrauss 2007-05-24 01:31PM | 0 recs
Re: They're listening to idiots like Mark Shields

You seem to be missing a little thing called Nixon's resignation in that mix. Carter won by saying "I'll never lie to you", the unspoken end to that sentence  was "like Nixon did".  

Everything from Rambo's "the politicians wouldn't let us win" rant to the ridiculous claim that Reagan won the Cold War all by his lonesome (tell it to Lech Walesca) to the ridicule the ex-marine Dukakis suffered for his photo op in that tank can be traced back to that phony but still effective meme "Dems are weak on defense" Phoenix.

by markg8 2007-05-24 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: They're listening to idiots like Mark Shields

Nixon wouldn't have resigned if the Democrats hadn't pressed him on Watergate.

The thing is that Shields' secondary message to Dems is that they must always capitulate to succeed.  Their success with Watergate shows otherwise.

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 09:12AM | 0 recs
Re: They're listening to idiots like Mark Shields

That wasn't your original point was it? The fact is without Woodward and Bernstein and couragious editors at the Post the break-in would have gone down in history as a third rate burglery.

Dems in 1973-1974 had much larger majorities than they have now. They'd had them for years. Even with that they were never able to withdraw funding for Vietnam until after Nixon ended our involvement in the war.  

As Iraq devolves further, as the surge fails, Repubs will either have to break with Bush or leave office with him. I'm betting they'll do the right thing in an effort to keep from committing political suicide.

Record and Youtube all their gloating over this "victory". They're gonna regret it come '08. Hell they're going to regret it this July and September.  

by markg8 2007-05-24 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: They're listening to idiots like Mark Shields

The Democratic party of 1974 was way more conservative than the contemporary Democratic party--especially considering that most  of the committee chairs were million year old Dixiecrat idiots who were very hawkish.

by Valatan 2007-05-24 09:47AM | 0 recs
Re: They're listening to idiots like Mark Shields

You have a point Valatan. It'd be interesting to go back and see how they voted back then. How far back does Thomas.gov record votes?

by markg8 2007-05-24 10:15AM | 0 recs
And even then they were bolder...

...than most of the Dems today.

To be fair, the establishment DC press, though generally conservative itself in operation (the nominally-liberal NYT caved to Nixon by among other things giving his speechwriter Safire a high-profile job; the WaPo was, right up until Katherine Graham, known for its conservatism, and its competitor the Star even more so), was nowhere near as bad as it is today.  People like Molly Ivins and Frank Herbert or even Paul Krugman (who isn't really a liberal, just plain sane) could never get high-profile gigs if they were starting out today, yet damned any right-wing clod who can put a sentence together is automatically given a cushy berth without any sort of vetting other than to see if they're conservative enough.

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: They're listening to idiots like Mark Shields

That wasn't your original point was it?

Actually, if you'd read the link I cited, you'd have seen that I do indeed make that very point, here:

Democrats actually did well in 1974, the year they defunded the war: They picked up 49 seats in the House and three seats in the Senate. If that's paying an electoral price, it's one I'm sure they'd love to pay again in 2008. Granted, they had the fall of Nixon via Watergate to help them out, but it was their own decision to push the hearings and impeachment process that made this possible.

All the W&B coverage wouldn't have mattered if the Democrats didn't choose to act on it.  Or did you somehow think that Carl Bernstein was a Senator?  

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: They're listening to idiots like Mark Shields

"Mark Shields and his fellow Beltway opinion-shapers all say that getting us out of Vietnam hurt the Democrats at the polls, when in fact from 1974 to 1976, the Democrats picked up fifty House seats, three Senate seats and the White House"

That was the quote in your post. Let's not waste time with half truths.

The fact remains if we want to end this war we have to get enough Repubs for a veto override. There is no draft. There aren't millions more soldiers to call on to keep our army from breaking. Repubs know that. Keep the pressure on them and they will crack.
   

by markg8 2007-05-24 10:54AM | 0 recs
Oh come on!

Quit trying to pretend I didn't address the issue of Watergate's electoral influence (and the Democratic role in bringing it about) in my original post, when you know damned well I did.

If you have to resort to dancing angels on the head of a pin, you've lost the argument.

And again:  Carl Bernstein wasn't a Senator (or a Congressman) in 1974, last I checked.  In fact, the idea of the primary role of the media in Watergate has been seriously questioned in recent years:

Despite the hype, Woodward and Bernstein did not write a comprehensive history of Watergate, just a memoir of their own experience covering it. "The fallacy in All the President's Men  is that..the movie is all from our point of view, so that it seems to be a story about us," Woodward acknowledges. "But that's just one piece of what happened early in the process."

Still, as sociologist Michael Schudson wrote in his book Watergate in American Memory, that's not the way the public sees it: "A mythology of the press in Watergate developed into a significant national myth, a story that independently carries on a memory of Watergate even as details about what Nixon did or did not do fade away. At its broadest, the myth of journalism in Watergate asserts that two young Washington Post reporters brought down the president of the United States. ....

How accurate is this scenario? Not very, according to Kutler, author of what is widely considered the most definitive history of the scandal, The Wars of Watergate. "As more documentary materials are released," Kutler wrote, "the media's role in uncovering Watergate diminishes in scope and importance. Television and newspapers publicized the story and, perhaps, even encouraged more diligent investigation. But it is clear that as Watergate unfolded from 1972 to 1974, media revelations of crimes and political misdeeds repeated what was already known to properly constituted investigative authorities. In short, carefully timed leaks, not media investigations, provided the first news of Watergate."

"At best," wrote author Edward Jay Epstein, "reporters, including Woodward and Bernstein, only leaked elements of the prosecutor's case to the public" a few days before it otherwise would have come out anyway. Without any help from the press, Epstein wrote, the FBI linked the burglars to the White House and traced their money to the Nixon campaign - within a week of the break-in. Woodward and Bernstein "systematically ignored or minimized" the work of law enforcement officials to "focus on those parts" of the story "that were leaked to them," Epstein charged.

Kutler found that "local Washington reporting, especially in the Post, closely tracked the FBI's work, relying primarily on raw Bureau reports." Woodstein's account placing the pair at the center of the scandal, the historian wrote, was "self-serving" and "exaggerated," part of "the press' excessive claims for its role." Indeed, he says, even if media coverage during Watergate had been cautious and passive, Nixon would have been forced out of office because an independent court system combined with a Democratic Congress was intent on getting to the bottom of the scandal.

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 12:38PM | 0 recs
Let me repeat that last graf

Kutler found that "local Washington reporting, especially in the Post, closely tracked the FBI's work, relying primarily on raw Bureau reports." Woodstein's account placing the pair at the center of the scandal, the historian wrote, was "self-serving" and "exaggerated," part of "the press' excessive claims for its role." Indeed, he says, even if media coverage during Watergate had been cautious and passive, Nixon would have been forced out of office because an independent court system combined with a Democratic Congress was intent on getting to the bottom of the scandal.

"An independent court system combined with a Democratic Congress was intent on getting to the bottom of the scandal."

There are some mitigating circumstance for today's Dems.  The Republicans have had the better part of three decades to wreck the courts -- with the wreckage accelerated during the past six years.  And today's media is far more GOP-friendly than the press of the past, thanks to the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine and the GOP's buying corporate media loyalty with deregulation and tax cuts.  But even so:  Bush is still under 30%, as is his war.  You'd think that this would embolden the Dems a bit more than it has.

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh come on yourself!

You're wrong Phoenix woman. The disgustingly effective meme Repubs have peddled for decades "Dems are weak on nat'l. security" stems directly from the Vietnam War. That is the argument you tried to debunk with your half truth about the elections of 1974-1976. You're trying to get people to believe something that simply is not true by cherry picking facts to make your case.

I'm not interested today in longwinded debates with you about Watergate or clicking thru to equally longwinded posts about history I already know. Any other time but not today. I've got other things to do. But let me leave you with this. Trying to con people like you did by citing half the story is worthy of Dick Cheney or Doug Feith. Not somebody who posts at MyDD. I think you'd better take a long look in the mirror and decide if that's the road you want to go down.  

by markg8 2007-05-24 03:50PM | 0 recs
Re: They're listening to idiots like Mark Shields

The thing is, by insisting on "playing nice," the dems have refused to use the obvious counter to this damn "weak on defense" accusation--openly accusing them of being reckless bullies.

by Valatan 2007-05-24 09:19AM | 0 recs
The Easy Way Out Was to Vote for That War

Conventional wisdom says the votes against the Iraq AUMF cost Democrats seats in Congress. Even Dick Durbin -- who voted against the Iraq war resolution -- said exactly that in an interview on NPR earlier this month. Considering the abuse people who voted against the war took, I can't blame him entirely for thinking that.

The truth is, however, is that not one of the members of Congress who voted against the Iraq war resolution lost their seat in a general election. A few retired, a few ran for other offices, Cynthia McKinney lost a Democratic primary, Paul Wellstone died just before an election. But not one of them lost an election to a Republican opponent.

On the other hand, more than 10% of the Senators and Representatives who did not leave office for other reasons lost general elections in 2002 or 2004.

by darrelplant 2007-05-24 09:17AM | 0 recs
Exactly!

Exactly.

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Exactly!

When Wellstone made his vote, his polling numbers shot up and he had a clear lead over Coleman prior to his death,

Prior to his vote Wellstone and Coleman were neck and neck.

by BDM 2007-05-24 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: The Easy Way Out Was to Vote for That War

Proves nothing. For instance Max Cleland would have lost his seat in a huge landslide if he'd voted against the AUMF.

by markg8 2007-05-24 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: The Easy Way Out Was to Vote for That War

And he lost his seat anyway to a Republican draft-dodger named Saxby Chambliss, despite his capitulation to Bush.

Max Cleland, in fact, is the poster child for demonstrating that collaborating with Bush won't save you from sleazy Republican attacks.  A man who'd left most of his body in Vietnam was taken out by a lying draft-dodging weasel.

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: The Easy Way Out Was to Vote for That War

Well there's the question of whether that election was legitimate anyway (Diebold) but again you leave out the vote on the Homeland Security bill that was the subject of those sleazy commercials. You're right nothing stops Republicans from being as sleazy as they possibly can but that's no excuse for a selective reading of history to make your points.

by markg8 2007-05-24 11:10AM | 0 recs
The Beltway/People disconnect

Even the nominal good guys have been immersed in the Roger Ailes-Jack Welch-Fred Hiatt version of Beltway consensus reality for so long that it's hard for them to realize that actual reality is different.  

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: The Easy Way Out Was to Vote for That War

Clarification: I should have said Democratic members of Congress.

by darrelplant 2007-05-25 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Moran

For what its worth, Moran (after his idiotic comment) just sent a e-newsletter out saying he will vote against the supplemental.

by Kalex 2007-05-24 09:15AM | 0 recs
Bushies fail upward, Dems advance back

Keep that powder dry, kids, we're just one more capitulation away from victory! Retreat just a little further, and we'll have them exactly where we want them!

If you won't call their bluff when you hold all the cards, you don't belong in this game.

by Memekiller 2007-05-24 10:35AM | 0 recs
Disagreeing with Louise Slaughter...

...does not mean that she is an idiot.

I'd be proud to have her as my Congresswoman, because she is a consistent progressive champ.

by faithfull 2007-05-24 10:50AM | 0 recs
Frontpage in Bold: Tacoma News Tribune

Frontpage in Bold Big letters

Bush wins on Iraq funding
Democrats drop withdrawal date

Tacoma News Tribune news services
Published: May 23rd, 2007 01:00 AM

Democrats on Tuesday gave up their demand for troop withdrawal deadlines in an Iraq war spending package, abandoning their top goal of bringing U.S. troops home and handing President Bush a victory in a debate that has roiled Congress for months.

by mrobinsong 2007-05-24 10:54AM | 0 recs
A BIGGER TENT AND A BROADER AGENDA

The votes aren't there, plain and simple.  The congressional seats that were won in 2006 were filled with moderate, blue dog, and conservative dems, not "get out of Iraq now, no matter what the costs liberals".

Despite the fact that we all want the war to end, we should not be so willing to crash our party on the rocks over this one issue.  There are many things to accomplish besides ending the war.  We need to address those issues now, and wait till September to end this war the only way possible: bipartisanly.

by ChicagoDude 2007-05-24 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: A BIGGER TENT AND A BROADER AGENDA

The party needs to be burned to the ground and rebuilt, and it isn't over one vote either. The collapse on Iraq comes only a week after news of trade deals being cut by the Democratic leadership in secret. It comes after John Dingell and his judiciary committee decided to gut the ethics reform package because it was just too "onerous." It's apparently too much to expect fired Congressmen, and their staffs to seek post-Capital Hill employment in something other than lobbying for a whole two years! The executive compensation bill that would have precluded corporate management from cashing in without the approval of shareholders was weakened so it mandated only shareholder advisement, not approval, which is admitting the bill is toothless.  

Then of course we have the long and storied history of Democratic venality as the opposition party during the Republican ascent--does the bankruptcy bill, AUMF, estate tax repeal, and various deregulatory and trade bills during the Clinton presidency count? What have the Democrats done that makes them worth saving? 3/4 of the caucus sits with the angels, but the 1/4 that is corrupt, conservative and risk averse needs to be  excised from the caucus, simple as that. No one should shy away from the task before us, some Democrats need to be made examples of. As they used to say in Britain, toss the leadership from the ramparts and flog the rank and file until they get the message.

by Robert Drake 2007-05-24 12:26PM | 0 recs
Re: A BIGGER TENT AND A BROADER AGENDA

are you new here? That frame really isn't true.

by torridjoe 2007-05-24 12:34PM | 0 recs
Re: A BIGGER TENT AND A BROADER AGENDA

That's for ChicagoDude, not Drake, sorry.

by torridjoe 2007-05-24 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: A BIGGER TENT AND A BROADER AGENDA

Did the Dems win in 2006 by electing centrist and conservative Dems?  The answer, in the house and according to Nicholas Beaudrot, appears to be yes.

http://ezraklein.typepad.com/blog/2007/0 5/they_were_only_.html

by ChicagoDude 2007-05-24 01:42PM | 0 recs
Here in Colorado
Here in Colorado only Degette will be voting no.. Udall/yes Salazar/yes  Pearlmutter/yes
Udall's yes will be a factor in his Senate bid..
Degette for Senate 08
by DenverD 2007-05-24 11:14AM | 0 recs
Re: The Capitulation Bill

There's actually a secret problem in Democratic politics where a lot of our pollsters actually don't know how to do professional polling.  But we'll leave that aside.

Can you talk more about this?

by monkey 2007-05-24 11:15AM | 0 recs
This is why we need to get out of IRAQ..

Spc. Daniel Seitz, 22, of Pensacola, Fla., said he was trying to stay strong and push ahead with the search.

"It just angers me that it's just another friend I've got to lose and deal with, because I've already lost 13 friends since I've been here and I don't know if I can take any more of this," he said.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18814416/

If the Democrats can not figure this one out, and the rest of the country CAN, they deserve to be replaced in 2008.  Simple as that.

by icebergslim 2007-05-24 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: The Capitulation Bill: "Obviously it's

I understand all the anger.  I want the US out of Iraq today.

And while, I don't think this is the motive and nor should it be, this turn of events will make Iraq the #1 issue of the general presidential campaign.  With over 100,000 troops in Iraq, the 2008 vote will be a referendum on war.  I don't how any Republican wins the White House in 2008 now.

by Monkey In Chief 2007-05-24 11:34AM | 0 recs
One would hope so

I'm just worried that the tendency of the leadership to cave on the big stuff is going to demoralize the people who are the most passionate members of the base.  (And since the Dems have a tougher time keeping their base from splintering off into third-party-land anyway -- for every voter Pat Buchanan got in 2000, Ralph Nader got seven more -- this is a particular problem.)

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 11:44AM | 0 recs
Actually, they're from all over the spectrum

John Yarmuth, who won in Kentucky (Kentucky!), ran an alternative weekly and is not too far from Bernie Sanders politically.  (Yeah, KY-03 is essentially Louisville, and big cities are more liberal than small ones even in the South, but it'd be tough to confuse even Louisville with San Francisco politically.)

And of course Bernie Sanders, an actual Socialist, is now the junior Senator from Vermont.

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 11:41AM | 0 recs
Argh

This was supposed to be a reply to ChicagoDude's comment above RE: the idea that only ConDems won in 2006.  And I'd hit "Reply" and everything!  Oh, well.  :-p

by Phoenix Woman 2007-05-24 11:47AM | 0 recs
CENTRISTS AND CONSERVATIVES DEMS WON IN 2006

Did the Dems win in 2006 by electing centrist and conservative Dems?  The answer, in the house and according to Nicholas Beaudrot, appears to be yes.

http://ezraklein.typepad.com/blog/2007/0 5/they_were_only_.html

by ChicagoDude 2007-05-24 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: CENTRISTS AND CONSERVATIVES DEMS WON IN 2006

gimme a list of those "conservative, pro-war dems", and i'll give you a bigger one with progressive names.

you bought into the faux news frame...hook, line, and sinker.

by jgarcia 2007-05-24 01:58PM | 0 recs
Maybe he will be nice to us now?

Once again the Democrats are ruled by consultants who think that playing defense is the best way of winning. But all this really does is reinforce the idea that Democrats won't fight for what they believe in. And if they won't fight for what they believe in then why should we (The American People) trust them to defend them against people who want to kill them?

The language of capitulation is clear: if you give up something in the belief that it will make an enemy treat you better you are a fool. Would Osama bin Laden be nicer to us if we give up something to him?

There's a reason why Republicans, for all their incompetence, corruption and general all around loopiness, still has an appeal for the voters: at least we know they will fight.

(Aside: I'm breaking my general rule of not using Republican talking points when describing Democrats because to do so only validates them. But when the Democrats live down to the negative portrayal the Republicans have made of them then there is really no choice but to point out how they are doing so.)

by Chris Andersen 2007-05-24 02:38PM | 0 recs

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